Summary: A Godly Mother encourages: 1) Growth and Strength (Luke 2:39-40), 2) Instruction and Exploration (Luke 2:41–51) 3) Wisdom and Godliness (Luke 2:52)

There are times when Amanda Telford suddenly notices the quiet in her house, and feels the familiar flush of worry, and the same question shouts in her head like an alarm buzzing: Where’s Philippe? For 19 years, quiet in her Ottawa home meant trouble. Trouble like Philippe overflowing the bathtub. Or ripping off his closet doors. Or wandering out of the house into traffic. Philippe, who has autism, can’t speak – he nods his head or points to communicate at pictures– and he cannot be left alone, not for a minute. He sometimes bangs his head so hard against the wall that he leaves a dent, and his hands are scarred where he has bitten himself. When he was 16, he was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes, which suddenly limited the respite care his parents had been getting – due to regulations, staff at most of the homes could not administer his needles. Philippe’s needs were higher, but they were getting less help; “It was almost like driving off a cliff,” says Telford.

There is silence in the house now, because last week, Telford brought her son, Philippe, to a provincial government office, told him she loved him, and left him there, with a note explaining why. It was a drastic decision, which is why it made headlines around the world. Mothers are not supposed to abandon their children to strangers – they are not supposed to feel there is no other choice. Amanda Telford and her husband, Alex, spent two decades protecting their son, fighting for him to get help in a crowded health-care system. And, in the end, to keep him safe, she left him on the government’s porch step. She told him he was going to “camp,” because that is a place he loves. He didn’t understand what she really meant, or why she was shaking as she walked away. (

In one of the early and disturbing encounters recorded in Luke 2, Mary and Joseph frantically search for their missing boy Jesus. In this the only recorded incident from Jesus’ childhood, we have the only words Jesus is recorded to have said before the start of His public ministry. Luke’s account reveals plainly that at the age of twelve, Jesus already possessed a complete understanding of His nature and mission; He was God the Son, come to do the Father’s will.

There can be no greater role for a mother than for them to instill in a child their place in regard to their heavenly father and what their position in life is in regard to Him. Much more than providing safety, God made Moms to guide their children in a purposeful direction. It is a task that needs to be affirmed by Fathers, celebrated in the faith community and embraced by children.

A Godly Mother encourages: 1) Growth and Strength (Luke 2:39-40), 2) Instruction and Exploration (Luke 2:41–51) 3) Wisdom and Godliness (Luke 2:52)

A Godly Mother encourages:

1) Growth and Strength (Luke 2:39-40)

Luke 2:39-40 [39]And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. [40]And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (ESV)

After presenting the testimonies of Simeon and Anna (2:25–38), Luke noted that when they (Joseph and Mary) had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord (cf. vv. 22–24) they returned into Galilee, to their own town/city of Nazareth. According to Exodus 23:17; 34:22–23; and Deuteronomy 16:16, all Jewish men were required to attend the three major feasts. But by the first century, the dispersion of many Jewish people outside of Palestine had made that impractical. Consequently, many Jewish men came to Jerusalem only for Passover. Women were not required by the law to attend (though some rabbis strongly encouraged them to do so); for a woman to attend the feast was considered a sign of unusual spiritual devotion.

There are so many demands on a woman that devotion to God is seen as just an extra to be added on. For a godly mother, when concern for the things of God are at the core of a life of devotion, everything else comes into perspective, and heavenly resources are realized to enable this godly life.

Their Mission was accomplished: census enrollment completed, miraculous baby birthed, circumcision performed, name given, purification carried out, firstborn presented and dedicated, blessings and prophecies heard and stored away in amazement—the new family returned home to the obscurity of Nazareth, having done everything required by the Law (Butler, T. C. (2000). Vol. 3: Luke. Holman New Testament Commentary (33). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)

This one brief passage contains everything that is known about the life of Jesus Christ from His infancy to the outset of His public ministry. Two statements summarizing the silent years of His childhood and His adult years at Nazareth bracket the incident at Jerusalem when He was twelve, which is the main thrust of this passage.

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